Top positive review
on 27 August 2017
A comprehensive story of womenfolk and their lives in WW2. Nicholson takes the reader through seemingly every aspect of women's lives and their contribution to the war at that time: wives and mothers keeping the home going while the husband is away; in the factory or reserved occupation; the Land girls on the farm or in the forest; in the women’s branches of the armed services.
It is fortunate (for the book) that this was a time when many women kept diaries for their own amusement or out of habit, and for Mass Observation, the movement that encouraged people to keep a diary of everyday events and send them in. In addition, Nicholson has conducted countless interviews with women who lived through it; fortunately many of the interviewees were able to look back with some detachment and speak with extraordinary frankness about their own thoughts and feelings, and those of their friends and acquaintances. Like The Great War, WW2 resulted in massive social change; here we watch it changing before our very eyes.
This is a fascinating, even riveting, book and well deserves the plaudits on the front cover: readable, haunting, intensely moving, vividly entertaining, uplifting, humbling… and much more in that vein.